***image2***Starting today, Rheinland-Pfalz and the state of Saarland will join other German states in a public smoking ban. Initially, the plan was to implement the law in November 2007. But with regards to heavy monetary losses for the carnival associations, it was postponed until after Fasching season.
There will be exceptions. In restaurants that can provide a separate room for smokers, smoking is still allowed. But these rooms have to be smaller, with less seats than the others. This regulation is not valid for discotheques, where smoking is prohibited.
Smoking in fest tents will still be allowed in Rheinland-Pfalz, but not in Bavaria.
In most German states, smoking in restaurants, pubs, theaters, and public institutions has been prohibited since Jan. 1.
Fines will get charged after a transition period. Guests will get charged up to €100 and hosts, restaurant, pub and club owners will have to pay fines of up to €1,000.